Keeping Cool Without Killing The Planet


Refrigeration is a staple of modern living—we use refrigerants in air conditioners, aerosol spray cans, and, well, refrigerators. But it turns out that the most popular refrigerants of the 20th century depleted the ozone and had high global warming potentials. In episode 21 of Speaking of Chemistry, Sophia Cai takes a look at the pros and cons of new refrigerants recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to be used as more environmentally friendly alternatives.

If this episode leaves you wanting more video goodness, read the sources below.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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The Montreal Protocol Is Healing Earth’s Ozone Hole
Volume 93 Issue 22 | p. 8
Issue Date: June 1, 2015

Climate-Friendly Refrigerants
Volume 93 Issue 10 | p. 6
Issue Date: March 9, 2015

EPA Clamps Down On Anhydrous Ammonia For Refrigeration
Volume 93 Issue 9 | p. 26
Issue Date: March 2, 2015

Halocarbons Reassessed
Volume 91 Issue 34 | pp. 27-28
Issue Date: August 26, 2013

Posted in Recent Episodes

Critter Chemistry

Insects may not be the most charismatic creatures on the planet, but what they lack in cuddliness, they make up for with chemical ingenuity. In Episode 20 of Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport looks at three of the craziest six-legged chemists out there.

If this episode leaves you wanting more video goodness, read the sources below.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

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For more of C&EN’s critter chemistry videos, visit youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM2CTqSTy7cRaqZg4_UJ7fXXIFyPaZipQ

Sources:
Beetle’s Explosive Spray Mechanism Revealed By X-Ray Imaging
Volume 93 Issue 18 | p. 7
Issue Date: May 4, 2015

To Outwit Plant Defenses, Hungry Caterpillars Turn Chemists

Volume 92 Issue 40 | p. 10
Issue Date: October 6, 2014

An Ant’s Acid Antidote
Volume 92 Issue 9 | pp. 44-45
Issue Date: March 3, 2014

Ant Battle Yields Ionic Liquid
Volume 92 Issue 30 | p. 32
Issue Date: July 28, 2014

For more critter chemistry stories, visit: cen.acs.org/collections/critchem.html

Posted in Recent Episodes

Why Don’t We Recycle Styrofoam?

It’s common practice to recycle paper, glass, and many plastics—in fact, about 35% of the trash produced in the U.S. is recycled or composted. So why can’t we recycle what’s commonly referred to as Styrofoam? (It’s actually expanded polystyrene, or EPS—a bit different!) In episode 19 of Speaking of Chemistry, host Sophia Cai explains that EPS actually can be recycled, but the prohibitive costs have prompted cities to ban the pesky product instead.

If this episode leaves you wanting more video goodness, read the sources below.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Fuming Over Foam
Volume 93 Issue 12 | pp. 23-25
Issue Date: March 23, 2015

New York City Bans Expanded Polystyrene Food Containers, Opens Market To Alternatives
C&EN Latest News
Web Date: January 12, 2015

Posted in Recent Episodes

How To Make Synthetic Leather In An Eco-friendly Way

Alternatives to leather made from animal hides have been around for decades. Synthetic leather is in our car seats and our stylish jackets. But at least one of the chemicals used to make faux leather is highly toxic. In episode 18 of Speaking of Chemistry, host Lauren Wolf explains how companies usually make pleather and talks about a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process that’s in the works.

If this episode leaves you wanting more video goodness, read the sources below.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

Synthetic Leather’s Green Revivial
Volume 92 Issue 33 | pp. 28-29
Issue Date: August 18, 2014

Leather From Another Era
Volume 87 Issue 5 | pp. 18-21
Issue Date: Feb. 2, 2009

Posted in Recent Episodes

Beer Brewing Chemistry

Every beer brewer is locked into a high-maintenance relationship with yeast: finicky, alcohol-creating microorganisms. In Episode 17 of Speaking of Chemistry, brewmaster Max Filter fills us in on how he keeps his fermenting fungi happy.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Tapping Yeast’s Genome
Volume 93 Issue 16 | pp. 8-13
Issue Date: April 20, 2015

Strange Brews: The Genes of Craft Beers
New York Times
Web Date: May 26, 2014

What’s That Stuff: Beer
Volume 84 Issue 14 | p. 39
Issue Date: April 3, 2006

Posted in Recent Episodes

Hypoallergenic Isn’t Really A Thing


It’s a simple, common claim made on many personal care products: hypoallergenic. But what does that actually mean? Not much, explains Sophia Cai in episode 16 of Speaking of Chemistry. Turns out, hypoallergenic can mean whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean—and that means you might be left feeling itchy.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Medical Professionals Call For Regulation Of Claims That Cosmetics Are Hypoallergenic
Volume 92 Issue 50 | pp. 22-23
Issue Date: December 15, 2014

FDA: “Hypoallergenic” Cosmetics
Web Date: October 18, 2000 (Page Last Updated: March 23, 2014)

Is there a risk using hypoallergenic cosmetic pediatric products in the United States?
Web Date: November 07, 2014

What Does ‘Hypoallergenic’ Mean?
Web Date: November 18, 2014

Posted in Recent Episodes

What Does Space Smell Like?


One of the most surprising things about space is that it has a smell, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins told Reddit readers this past summer. But how is that even possible? In episode 15 of Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport sticks his nose into the science behind astronomical aromas and celestial body odors.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Fireworks Fashion, Extraterrestrial Smells
Volume 92 Issue 44 | p. 56
Issue Date: November 3, 2014

The ‘Perfume’ of 67P/C-G
Web Date: Oct. 23, 2014

Apollo Chronicles: The Mysterious Smell of Moondust
Web Date: Jan. 30, 2006

The Moon Smells: Apollo Astronauts Describe Lunar Aroma
Web Date: Aug. 25, 2014

Astronaut Describes Missions and Smell of Space
Web Date: Feb. 25, 2014

What Does Space Smell Like
Web Date: July 18, 2013

Posted in Recent Episodes

Is Bleaching Hair Bad For You?


If you’re looking for a new ‘do, you might be considering bleaching your flowing locks. But adding hydrogen peroxide to your head can actually do a lot of damage. In episode 14 of Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport breaks down why going platinum blonde could be bad for your “head suit.”

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Surface Chemistry Of Becoming A Blonde
Volume 92 Issue 38 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 22, 2014

Color Challenge
Volume 86 Issue 6 | pp. 32-33
Issue Date: February 11, 2008

Hair Care Ingredients Makers Get Creative
Volume 91 Issue 19 | pp. 29-32
Issue Date: May 13, 2013

L’Oréal Hair Science

Colour To Dye For
Mosaic Science
Web Date: Dec. 16, 2014

Posted in Recent Episodes

Four Facts About Sweat


New Year’s means drinking champagne, watching the ball drop, and making resolutions to get fit. Getting fit inevitably means sweating—but what is that stinky, salty fluid anyway? In Episode 13 of Speaking of Chemistry, Sophia Cai goes over four fun facts about the workout byproduct we love to hate.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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What’s That Stuff? Deodorants & Antiperspirants
Volume 90 Issue 27 | p. 27 | What’s That Stuff?
Issue Date: July 2, 2012

Fear Of Stink: A Century In The Making
Newscripts Blog
Web Date: January 22, 2013

Sweat Perception
Volume 85 Issue 39 | p. 86 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 24, 2007

Newscripts: Pseudo Sweat
Volume 85 Issue 13 | p. 56 | Newscripts
Issue Date: March 26, 2007

Nanoparticles In Athletic Apparel May Seep Into Sweat
Latest News
Web Date: July 11, 2013

Saving Space Suits
Volume 89 Issue 19 | pp. 40-41
Issue Date: May 9, 2011

Stinky T-Shirt? Bacteria Love Polyester In A Special Way
Shots: Health News From NPR
Web Date: September 05, 2014

Posted in Recent Episodes

What Is Tinsel Made Of?


Christmastime means decking your halls (and tree) with shiny tinsel. But you might not sleep in heavenly peace if you knew what some of the stuff used to be made of. In Episode 12 of Speaking of Chemistry, Carmen Drahl looks at tinsel’s chemistry history.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

What Is Tinsel Made Of, And How Has It Changed Over The Years?
C&EN Volume 92 Issue 50 | p. 31 | What’s That Stuff?
Issue Date: December 15, 2014

The Crimes of Lead
C&EN Volume 92 Issue 5 | pp. 27-29
Issue Date: February 3, 2014

Method of making christmas tinsel
US Patent 3480502 A
Publication Date November 25, 1969

Tin-antimony alloy; for christmas decoration
US Patent 4749599 A
Publication Date June 7, 1988

Tinsel: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Get Past Christmas Without It
Wall Street Journal
December 23, 2009

You Want Tinsel? You Can Get 30,000 Miles Of It Here
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 3, 2000

Posted in Recent Episodes

Why fruit flies could make your beer better


We won’t hazard our theories on why Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest bar night in the U.S., but scientists do have a new explanation for why our drinks attract unwanted visitors. In Episode 11 of Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport takes a look at how and why an essential beer ingredient calls out to fruit flies. It’s a good thing.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

Alluring Yeast
Volume 92 Issue 45 | p. 40
Issue Date: November 10, 2014

What’s That Stuff: Beer
C&EN Volume 84 Issue 14 | pp. 36-37
Issue Date: April 3, 2006

The Buzz On Beer
C&EN Volume 89 | p. 48
Issue Date: December 12, 2011

The Fungal Aroma Gene ATF1 Promotes Dispersal Of Yeast Cells through Insect Vectors
Cell Reports Volume 9 Issue 2 | pp. 425-432
Issue Date: October 23, 2014

Your Beer Attracts Fruit Flies On Purpose
WIRED
October 9, 2014

Posted in Recent Episodes

What You Need To Know About Microbeads


Your toothpaste and face scrub probably get their scrubbing power from tiny plastic beads contained within. In Episode 10 of Speaking of Chemistry, Lauren K. Wolf talks about these polyethylene “microbeads” and why environmental scientists and dentists alike are nervous about them getting into lakes, rivers, and your gums.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

Microplastic Beads Pollute Great Lakes
C&EN Volume 91 Issue 37 | pp. 23-25
Issue Date: September 16, 2013

DentalBuzz: Crest Toothpaste Embeds Plastic In Our Gums

Drawing a Bead On Microbeads
C&En Volume 92 Issue 24 | p. 6
Issue Date: June 16, 2014

Plastic Pollution Harms Marine Life
C&En Volume 91 Issue 49 | p. 8
Issue Date: December 9, 2013

Posted in Recent Episodes

Fighting a Killer Frog Fungus


It can be easy to forget that humans don’t have the market cornered when it comes to epidemics. In Episode 9 of Speaking of Chemistry, Matt Davenport talks about a fungus that is decimating frog populations as it spreads across the globe and how scientists are working to stop it.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

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Mysterious Fungus Threatens Frogs
C&EN Volume 92 Issue 30 | pp. 36-37
Issue Date: July 28, 2014

New York Times: Hope for Frogs in Face of a Deadly Fungus

National Geographic News: The Search for Missing Frogs Brings Some Species Back From the Dead

More related C&EN content:

Deleting A Gene Shuts Down Costly Fungus
C&EN Volume 86 Issue 49 | p. 29
Issue Date: December 8, 2008

Battling Bat Fungus
Volume 88 Issue 46 | pp. 39-41
Issue Date: November 15, 2010

Posted in Recent Episodes

All About Antibiotics


It’s getting colder in the U.S., which means more people coming down with runny noses, sore throats, coughs, and fevers. In Episode 8 of “Speaking of Chemistry”, Carmen Drahl talks about antibiotics- medications designed to kill bacteria- and why it’s important to finish all the pills a doctor prescribes.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

Dirt Tells Resistance Tales
Volume 88 Issue 1 | p. 10
Issue Date: January 4, 2010

A Bacterial Battle
Volume 92 Issue 24 | pp. 9-14
Issue Date: June 16, 2014

Pig Farms May Contribute to Antibiotic Resistance
Latest News
Web Date: August 20, 2010

Battling Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Volume 92 Issue 40 | pp. 27-29
Issue Date: October 6, 2014

Posted in Recent Episodes

Football, Concussions, and Brain Disease

Fall kicks off football season in the U.S. And in Episode 7 of “Speaking of Chemistry”, Lauren Wolf explains how scientists are racing to diagnose brain trauma in athletes including some NFL players, who experience repeated head injuries.

If this episode leaves you wanting more, read the sources below. Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Contact us at speakingofchem@acs.org!

Subscribe to C&EN’s YouTube channel!

Racing To Detect Brain Trauma
C&EN Volume 92 Issue 29 | pp. 9-14
Issue Date: July 21, 2014< GQ feature story: Game Brain: Football Players And Concussions

A Chemical Map Of The Mind
C&EN Volume 86 Issue 36 | pp. 13-20
Issue Date: September 8, 2008

Time For Tau

C&EN Volume 88 Issue 18 | pp. 36-39
Issue Date: May 3, 2010

Posted in Recent Episodes
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